Having a strong sense of meaning and purpose in life has been found to result in benefits for our health! It can reduce body inflammation and heart disease, make people eat better and exercise more, slow cognitive decline, and has even been linked to living longer. What gives our life meaning is usually made up of several components. You may have a big overarching source of meaning: perhaps a spiritual or religious belief, or a core idea about humanity and the role you play. Secondly, we have a few big concepts that give us purpose: a fulfilling career, a romantic partner, children, a passion for the environment, or social justice. Thirdly, we have many smaller goals, values, and actions that are short-lived or change over time. Although this last category is made up of smaller items, they are important in adding to our motivation to live life, and the sense of satisfaction we gain from it.
Today’s exercises will encourage you to think about your current feelings of meaning, as well as ways in which you might explore these concepts further and strengthen or develop your sense of purpose. It is absolutely fine if you have no clue whatsoever what the meaning of your life is! Simply be open to the idea of examining your life and thoughts, and learning from the process.